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                        ONLINE VIDEO REVIEW
                          COPYRIGHT 1992 
                       ISSUE #2     JUNE 1992


Welcome to "ONLINE VIDEO REVIEW," "OLIVER" for short, an online publication dedicated to the subject of movies on videocassette. Each issue will list the major theatrical releases that will be available on video tape in the next few months. Then, I will provide a brief review or synopsis of some of the films which are new in stores or will be there shortly. Some other sections in this and coming issues include an "oldie but goodie" selection, whereby I review/synopsize a movie which has been out on video for awhile, but that you may have missed. I plan to add additional sections to this publication based upon reader response and suggestions.

NEW IN THIS ISSUE: In the June issue of "Oliver," you will notice several added features. For example, I have added a "newsmakers" section which highlights happenings in the video industry, such as new policies and new video releases of special interest as well as other interesting tidbits. Also, the listing of new and upcoming releases will include from time to time a synopsis of the film, particularly when the film was not widely released in theaters and/or not heavily advertised. Remember, some of the best films may never make it to your hometown, and, thus, you may never have heard of them. I will make no recommendations on these films, but may relay any information I have on its critical success.


ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º PROGRAM PROMOTES WEDNESDAY AS NEW RELEASE DAY ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ In the news this month, the National Association of Video Distributors (NAVD), in conjunction with supporting studios, is implementing a program whereby all studios are encouraged to adopt Wednesday as a common day for releasing new rental products. They feel that this program will benefit retailers by stimulating mid-week traffic, reducing COD charges, creating promotional opportunities, saving shipping costs, and increasing turns per copy.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º CABIN FEVER RELEASES LAUREL & HARDY VIDEO ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ Also making video news, Cabin Fever Entertainment recently announced it will release "A Tribute to Laurel & Hardy" on June 11, 1992 for videocassette viewing. Host Dom Deluise joins an all-star salute to "the Boys" with Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Walter Matthau, Rich Little, Henny Youngman and many others. The video will provide a look at Laurel & Hardy's funniest moments from their best-loved films, including "A Chump at Oxford," "Saps at Sea," "Flying Deuces", and "Way Out West." It will also include rare scnens from Laurel & Hardy's silent film era. The tribute was most recently exclusively on the Disney Channel premium cable station, but will soon be available for all comedy fans.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º ANASTASIA MYSTERY FINALLY SOLVED ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ Last month, "Oliver" reviewed a television movie called "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna," which was released on videocassette in May. The review stated that Anna Anderson vehemently claimed to be the presumed-dead daughter of the last czar of Russia, and spent most of her life trying to prove it. At the time, nobody knew for sure. Shortly after the May issue of Oliver was released, headlines announced all over the world that archeologists had found the long-lost remains of Czar Nicholas II's family a while back, and recently positively identified the real Anastasia as being among them. Revolutionists brutally massacred the family in early 20th-century Russia. Although it will probably always be a mystery as to whether Anna Anderson was simply a very convincing imposter or a disturbed woman who actually believed she was Anastasia, researchers now know that her assertion had no basis in fact.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º WARHOL'S "DRACULA" GIVEN NEW LEASE ON LIFE ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ On June 17, the late Andy Warhol's ghoulish cult classic "Dracula" will find its way into video rental stores across the country. Udo Kier portrays a young, demented Count Dracula with an obsession for "virgin" blood, unfolding a bizarre and twisted tale that received rave reviews. The video release will be available in two versions, the 91-minute R-rated and 94-minute Unrated.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º FIGHTS… DRAMA… ACTION! ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ MGM/UA Home Video is promoting its upcoming series, Leading Men III, which will include nine new releases of classic films as well as five repackaged, price-reduced hits.

The new releases include "All Fall Down," an early Warren Beatty flick; "The Badlanders," starring Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine; "The Fugitive Kind" with Marlon Brando; "The Train," starring Burt Lancaster; "Witness for the Prosecution," starring Tyrone Power; "The Cincinnati Kid," with Steve McQueen; "The Gallant Hours" with James Cagney; "The Prize," starring Paul Newman; "The Search," with Montgomery Clift; and "Tomorrow is Forever" starring Orson Welles.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º MGM RELEASES SIX NEW HUMPHREY BOGART VIDEOS ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ The month of May marked the release of six new MGM videos starring Humphrey Bogart. "All Through the Night," "Conflict," "Battle Circus," "The Two Mrs. Carrolls," "Virginia City," and "Chain Lightning" are now available for the first time on home video. Bogart stars with such acting giants as Errol Flynn, Raldolph Scott, and Barbara Stanwyck in these movies, which retail for around $19.98.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º RENT THE ORIGINALS NOW… THE SEQUELS COMETH ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ What do "The Addams Family," "Batman" and "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" all have in common? They are some of the more popular movies available on video cassette that will spawn sequels this year for major theatrical release. "Batman Returns" will hit theaters this month, with "The Addams Family II" this fall and "Honey I Blew Up the Kids" later this summer.

ÉÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ» º PLEASE REGISTER "OLIVER" TO KEEP UP TO DATE ÇÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄÄ ÈÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍͼ This magazine is, as of now, FREE. However, I would greatly appreciate your registering your copy just for my information. Reader response and comments will determine the fate of future issues. A registration form will accompany this text file. Thank you, and enjoy.


!"JFK" Directed by: Oliver Stone Kevin Costner, Sissy Spacek, Kevin Bacon, Joe Pesci, Donald Sutherland Approximate Release Date: June 1, 1992

!"STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY" Directed by: Nicholas Meyer William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Kim Cattral, Christopher Plummer Approximate Release Date: July 1, 1992

"THE MAN IN THE MOON" Directed by: Robert Mulligan Sam Watterson Approximate Release Date: July 1, 1992

"THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE" (animated) Approximate Release Date: July 17, 1992

"FOR RICHER, FOR POORER" Directed by: Jay Sandrich Jack Lemmon, Talia Shire, Jonathan Silverman Approximate Release Date: July 1, 1992

"COLD JUSTICE" Directed by: Terry Green Roger Daltrey, Dennis Waterman Approximate Release Date: June 24, 1992

"EVERYBODY'S FINE" (Italian with English Subtitles) Directed by: Giuseppe Tornatore Marcello Mastroianni, Salvatore Cascio Approximate Release Date: July 1, 1992

"BUGSY" Directed by: Barry Levinson Annette Bening, Warren Beatty Approximate Release Date: July 1, 1992

!"THE ADDAMS FAMILY" Raul Julia, Anjelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd Approximate Release Date: June 18, 1992

"CAPE FEAR" Directed by: Martin Scorsese Robert DeNiro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange Approximate Release Date: June 4, 1992

"DEAD IN THE WATER" Directed by: Bill Condon Bryan Brown, Veronica Cartwright, Teri Hatcher Approximate Release Date: June 18, 1992

"WAXWORK II: LOST IN TIME" Directed by: Anthony Hickox Zach Galligan, Alexander Godunov, Bruce Campbell Approximate Release Date: June 10, 1992

"ILLICIT BEHAVIOR" Directed by: Worth Keeter Robert Davi, Joan Severance, Jack Scalia, James Russo Approximate Release Date: June 3, 1992 A thriller which will be released in both R-rated and unrated versions, "Illicit Behavior" focuses on a burned-out cop under investigation for use of excessive force. Suspended from duty, he takes out his anger on his lovely wife, who has her own plans brewing for revenge in a complex game of seduction and destruction.

"CAFE ROMEO" Catherine Mary Stewart, Jonathan Crombie Approximate Release Date: June 11, 1992 In this drama, regulars at a neighborhood coffeehouse help a lovely waitress realize her dream of breaking out of a dead-end marriage to a bum to have a fashion career in New York City.

"LET HIM HAVE IT" Directed by: Peter Medak Christopher Eccleston, Paul Reynolds, Tom Bell, Eileen Atkins Approximate Release Date: June 24, 1992

"ALMOST PREGNANT" Directed by: Michael Deluise Jeff Conaway, Tanya Roberts, Joan Severance, Dom Deluise Approximate Release Date: June 10, 1992

"AMITYVILLE 1992: IT'S ABOUT TIME" Directed by: Tony Randel Stephen Macht, Shawn Weatherby, Megan Ward Approximate Release Date: July 16, 1992

"THE BALLAD OF THE SAD CAFE" Directed by: Simon Callow Vanessa Redgrave, Keith Carradine, Rod Steiger Approximate Release Date: June 17, 1992

"THE INNER CIRCLE" Directed by: Andrei Konchalovsky Tom Hulce ("Amadeus," "Dominick & Eugene," "Parenthood" Lolita Davidovich ("Blaze," "JFK") Bob Hoskins ("Hook," "Mermaids," "Who Framed Roger Rabbit") Approximate Release Date: July 15, 1992 Filmed in Russia, a movie that bills itself as "an epic love story with the romance of Dr. Zhivago and the power of truth," "The Inner Circle" is based on a true story of Ivan Sanshin, an eyewitness to Soviet history.

"FORD: THE MAN & THE MACHINE" Cliff Robertson stars as Henry Ford, that ultimate example of the American Dream with well-known achievements and dark obsessions. A 3 1/2 hour epic also starring Hope Lange, Michael Ironside, Heather Thomas and R.H. Thomson, the movie chronicles Ford's rise from humble Detroit mechanic to the world's wealthiest man. Approximate Release Date: June 25, 1992.

"ALIEN SPACE AVENGER" Directed by: Richard W. Haines Gina Mastrogiacomo, Robert Prichard, Angela Nicholas In this B-movie science fiction yarn, planet earth is transformed into a ravaged battleground when an alien space craft containing a crew of outer space ruffians crash lands in New York City. Chased by intergalactic bounty hunters, the aliens hide inside the bodies of humans in order to evade their stalkers. Video version is unrated. Approximate Release Date: June 4, 1992.

"GRAND CANYON" Kevin Kline, Steve Martin Approximate Release Date: June 25, 1992


"NECESSARY ROUGHNESS" "THE COMMITMENTS" "NOTHING BUT TROUBLE" Plus, this month's oldie but goodie and children's pick.

                    V I D E O   R E V I E W S

"JFK" * * * «

This Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winner starring Kevin Costner from controversial director Oliver Stone boasts the most spectacular supporting cast of any movie in recent memory, including Edward Asner, Kevin Bacon, John Candy, Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, Joe Pesci, Sissy Spacek, Donald Sutherland, and Sally Kirkland.

Costner plays a Georgia attorney who prosecutes a prominent businessman with probable mob connections and a shadey private life for conspiring to assasinate John F. Kennedy. Although admittedly fraught with assumptions and guesses, "JFK" is brilliantly presented, thought provoking cinema at its best. The film is widely criticized for its fictionaliza- tions, but the viewer is surely smart enough to figure out when Stone is showing a scene of what could have happened and when he is delivering facts. Much of the movie concentrates on Costner's search through people from all walks of life, from politicians to seedy prison inmates, to find the truth about the assasination of the president of the United States.

The research takes its toll on his personal life, virtually takes over his life in fact. He dedicates all his time to his mission, and at the end, though nobody still knows the true circumstances of JFK's death, public opinion resulting from the movie is forcing the government to release important documents relating to the investigation and causing many to come forth with additional information.


Not just for goofy-TV-sitcom junkies, this film based on the spooky family from long ago television which was in turn based on a comic strip spins such a delightful web of creativity that we forget the predictable plot and sometimes weak storyline.

Gomez and Morticia Addams, as well as their darling (?) children, are startled when Gomez's long lost brother, Festus (Christopher Lloyd), shows up suddenly. It seems that he survived his voyage through the Bermuda Triangle after all, but suffered amnesia and just now remembered where he belongs. The imposter fits in so well with the cooky clan that his conniving mother fears he won't be able to rob the Addams family blind and leave as was their plan.

The highlight of the film is Thing, that bodiless hand that exists entirely in a box on TV but, thanks to the miracles of modern film technology and the ingenuity of a master illusionist, goes anywhere and everywhere in the movie. Thing hops from lily pad to lily pad across a pond, pulls a red wagon, even hails a taxi, and also serves as a hair-raising practical joke on visitors to the Addams mansion.


Entertaining and gripping for even the non-trekkie, the latest and supposedly last voyage of the Enterprise, at least with Kirk & Company, sends the crew on a mission of peace.

The Klingons, due to a natural disaster, will die out in less than 50 years without help from the Federation. Despite fierce arguments against aiding their longtime enemies, Captain Kirk embarks on a journey across space to escort the ambassador to meet with Klingon representatives and negotiate for peace and understanding between the two peoples.

Just as talks get underway, the chief Klingon ambassador is murdered, along with some of his companions, and Kirk and McCoy are framed for the crime. The captain and Bones end up in an intergalactic prison on a frozen planet, their only hope of escape being a shape-changing creature that looks a lot like super-model Iman most of the time, but can get quite ugly.

As they fight their way out of prison, Kirk and McCoy formulate their own theories as to whom is trying to sabotage the peacemaking process. They must tread carefully since the traitors walk among the heroes. Stunning special effects and thrilling action sequences grab the attention and don't let go as the Enterprise catapults through space to once again banish injustice in the universe. When human tactics don't work, there's always the Vulcan Mind Meld, used in this case to force a shipboard traitor into revealing the dastardly plot.


The story of an uncouth passel of Irish would-be musicians commands attention not just because of its witty dialogue laced with snappy comebacks and catchy one-liners, but also due to the fantastic music they eventually get around to playing.

Manager Jimmy first begins his band with two members of another band who are fed up with playing wedding receptions and sick to death of their lead singer who couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. So, suggests the enterprising Jimmy, we dump the lead singer and form another band, and I'll be the manager. Oh, and one more thing. We only play soul music.

The auditions bring little luck: The Commitments comes together mostly out of friends of Jimmy's and their friends. They come from all walks of life, and each presents an interesting individual character worthy of watching. There's Bernie, from a large, poverty stricken family, who dreams of success with the band so she can financially support the young'uns, as her mother is again expecting and her father is greivously ill in a hospital. Joey "The Lips" Fagan appears out of the blue to be the band's trumpeter, claiming that God sent him to help them along, and that his vast experience with American greats like B.B. King and Wilson Pickett will come in handy. The other two women in the band, all of whom are backup singers, Natalie and Imelda, are different as night and day, but both love Jimmy, who steadfastly retains a strictly business relationship. Their lead singer, a selfish, obnoxious lout who can belt out a tune to rival the best, doesn't get along with the rest of the band, but doesn't care.

Even with all these characters and more, the story flows easily, never confuses, and ends satisfyingly. Memorable moments abound, from the hilarious to the mildly amusing, and "The Commitments" on video is bound to have people humming their songs and practicing their Irish lilts.


Scott Bakula moves effortlessly from his regular role on TV's "Quantum Leap" to a film where he portrays a non-traditional college student going back to school in his 30's to finally realize his dream of playing college football.

And the football team needs all the help it can get. The weasely dean, unapproving of university athletics, has effectively eliminated most of the team because of their inability to perform academically, and what's left is a pretty sorry bunch.

Predictably, they overcome their handicaps and become a half decent team, even though their team is so small they play "iron man football"– all men play both offense and defense. Did I say men? Whoops. Their kicker was recruited from the women's soccer team and is the only female player in the league. She also scores most of their points.

If you can't stomach football even in small doses, don't bother with this movie. But the mostly slapstick comedy and interesting characters not to mention fine acting performances make the most of a so-so premise.


How can a film starring comedic giants Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase and John Candy as well as acclaimed "Ghost" actress Demi Moore possibly miss? Try an absolutely stupid premise, an even dumber script, and really, really bad make-up jobs, for starters.

When Chris and Diane (Chase and Moore), joined by two wacky Brazilians, head for Atlantic City, they get, you guessed it, nothing but trouble. It starts when they are stopped in Vulkenvania for a routine traffic violation. But, in this town, there is no such thing as routine. Taken up to "city hall" by Police Officer Dennis (John Candy), their fate rests in the hands of the judge, an ornery old coot oozing senility. The justice of the peace (Dan Aykroyd), a 107-year-old vigilante, has a specific hatred for bankers, and mistakenly pegs Chris for one. Although the two Brazilians escape, Chris and Diane are stuck in the judge's looney bin of a castle, where things are supposed to be nothing but funny, but turn out to be nothing but ridiculous and downright pitiful.

Why these highly successful actors would waste their talents on such a lemon of a movie is a mystery, but one thing is not: "Nothing But Trouble" is nothing but painful to sit through. If this is the only new release available, stick with the oldies but goodies.



So, you think that by the premise of this film and its listing among your favorite video store's "adult" pictures, that it's just another porno flick masquerading as genuine cinema. But, despite its so-so string of sequels ("Emmanuelle 5" is due for release June 25, 1992) and its cable showings limited to late-night, "Emmanuelle" is beautiful, erotic, nicely acted adult viewing.

The movie reveals its share of nudity (and then some), but has no hard-core, explicit sex scenes, only sensual foreplay followed by letting the imagination determine what comes next. In the film, Emmanuelle, played by the long of limb, supple of body Sylvia Kristel, accompanies her businessman husband on assignment in Bangkok. There, all the other European women spend their days lounging nude by the pool, soaking up the sun, or engaging in mildly lesbian relationships. Their indifferent husbands never appear onscreen, but hover in the background somewhere conducting business while their wives occupy themselves.

Young, somewhat naive and extremely curious, Emmanuelle finds herself embarking on a journey of erotic discovery, amidst beautiful people and scenery. Although hardly a realistic slice of life, Emmanuelle presents an ultimate fantasy of sorts which transports us to a world of what-ifs and a look at hedonism first hand. It also lets us see the emotional results, both positive and negative, of different types of sexual liaisons, as well as the joy and security of marital relations. Not for the prudish or especially sensitive, Emmanuelle should nonetheless not be dismissed as a mindless skin flick.



One couldn't begin to describe the creativity and genius behind a film like "The Little Mermaid," an animated picture about a young mermaid named Ariel who lives at the bottom of the sea but wants to become human so she can marry the man of her dreams.

The songs are magnificent, particularly those done by Sebastian the Crab, and the characters almost pop off the screen with vitality. Catchy reggae tunes abound, as do sweet, romantic ballads. Ariel rescues the handsome prince from certain drowning when his ship is caught in a storm, and from then on loves him. He loves her, too, but can't remember what she looks like, only the sound of her voice singing to him.

Desperate, Ariel bargains away her beautiful voice to the sea witch in exchange for being made human, not realizing that it was her voice that caused the prince to fall for her. So Ariel, sans fins and sporting a new pair of legs, appears before the prince, unable to speak or sing, hoping the prince will fall in love with her. However, despite his physical attraction to her loveliness, he can't forget the voice of the girl who saved him, and vows to marry only her. He thinks he's found her when another pretty woman shows up on his doorstep, one with the voice he worships–the sea witch in disguise.

Of course, everything works out for the prince and Ariel, and they live happier ever after, but this being the case for all animated children's flicks, it hardly has an effect on the beauty of the picture.

The lesson to be learned here, that true love requires more than a pretty face, comprises only part of the appeal of this movie. "The Little Mermaid" is a classic both as a children's animated feature and as lighthearted entertainment for the whole family.

                            T H E  E N D

This publication may not be duplicated in part or full without express

                written permission of the publisher.


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